WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have in 18 years.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose five points to 74 this month, the highest it's been since July of 1999.
Readings above 50 show that more builders see sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has stayed above 60 since September 2016.
All three components of the index rose in December. The reading gauging builders' view of single-family home sales rose four points to 81. The outlook for sales over the next six months ticked up three points to 79. The measure of traffic by prospective buyers jumped eight points to 58.
The December index exceeded the expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet, which expected a reading of 70.
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